Rinfrette's 38 Points Lead Panthers To Win At Chatham

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's basketball team defeated Chatham, 79-76, in a non-conference game Wednesday night behind 38 points from Ali Rinfrette.

"Ali came up huge for us tonight," Head Coach Sharay Hall said. "She was very aggressive and consistent. In the fourth quarter, we changed our defense and we were able to get some stops to pull out the win." 

Rinfrette's scoring outburst ties her career-high and also the Pitt-Bradford women's basketball single-game record. Her first 38-point, record-breaking performance came last season on Jan. 9, 2017, as part of an 86-75 win against D'Youville.

With eight boards and four assists, Rinfrette led the Panthers in both categories as well.

Aria Alston-Smith grabbed seven total steals – a Panthers season-high – but none bigger than her takeaway with the game tied at 74-74 with 1:01 left to play, which led to a Shaelyn Snipes layup to give Pitt-Bradford a lead from which it would never look back.

The two teams started out neck-and-neck. Tied 6-6 at the 4:39 mark in the first quarter, the Cougars ended the period on an 8-3 run to hold a 14-9 lead into the second.

Chatham extended its lead to 24-15 at the 4:36 mark, but the Panthers stormed back.

A 15-8 run the rest of the way highlighted by three-pointers from Rinfrette and Anna Colebert tightened the deficit to 32-30 in favor of Chatham at the half. 

The Panthers started the second half with six quick points on two jumpers from Brittany Button and another from Snipes to open up a 36-32 lead less than a minute-and-a-half in.

Chatham later regained the lead, but a three-pointer from Rinfrette eventually pushed the score to a 44-44 tie at the 5:41 mark.

A bucket and a free throw toward the end of the third quarter helped the Panthers keep pace, but Chatham took a 54-50 lead into the fourth.

The Cougars opened up the fourth quarter with a pair of free throws to go up six points, 56-50, but the Panthers went on a 12-4 run to take a 62-60 lead on a Jennifer Isenberg jumper.

A make from Chatham later gave the Cougars a 65-63 lead at the 5:16 mark, but Rinfrette knocked down a three-pointer to give the Panthers a 66-65 lead.

The two teams traded buckets and the Panthers held the lead down the stretch, but Chatham strung together multiple makes and took a 74-72 lead with 1:10.

On the next possession, Button knocked down a jumper to tie the game, and Alston-Smith grabbed a steal and fed Snipes for a layup to put Pitt-Bradford up, 76-74 with a minute remaining.

Isenberg made a free throw with 22 seconds left to put the Panthers up, 77-74.

Chatham then went down the floor and made a jumper to pull within one, 77-76, with just four seconds left. 

A pair of free-throws from Rinfrette with one second left put the Panthers up three points once again and they would go on to hold the eventual final score of 79-76 for the win.

Snipes (11 points) and Button (10 points) also scored in double-figures for Pitt-Bradford. Button's 10 points is the first double-figure performance for the freshman.

Rinfrette went 14-18 from the free-throw line, 10-16 from the floor and 4-5 from long range.  All totals are season-highs for Rinfrette.

Pitt-Bradford will look for its third-straight win and resume conference play as the Panthers head to Franciscan Saturday.